In this ‘key issue’ we look at an interesting subject – staff turnover and skills. I think I need to take my normal potshot at the word ‘staff’ first… Who are ‘staff’ and who are not ‘staff’? I’ll apply my ‘pub test’ to find out if the word staff is still relevant? If asked in a pub what you do for a living, would your reply include the word ‘staff’ or ‘employee’? – I don’t think so. Enough said! Let’s try ‘people’.
So, ‘people turnover and skills’. Although we have done and continue to do some really interesting, creative and dynamic things within the business, how do we ensure we are still ahead of the pack?
We don’t want good people to leave, and I think we work pretty hard at creating the environment that means we all feel we are listened to and can ‘get on’, develop our careers and increase our earnings. But, how can we be sure that we haven’t gone a bit stale?
By accepting that there is a benefit from some people leaving and some new people joining, it can mean we can learn about what other businesses are doing and get some form of benchmark on how we are doing. Interestingly, that can happen when people who leave us, sometimes want to come back, having experienced a different culture at their new company.
So, some people turnover is OK. What part of it is not OK? Getting people to understand our culture fast is challenging. Getting them up to speed with how we work is challenging. The structures and styles of Linney Group are very unusual, there are still probably less than 5% of companies who manage, encourage, innovate, laugh and cry like we do. Getting that across to new people is sometimes a challenge. Getting them on Core Values courses and getting them through the appropriate training course is also a challenge.
We have to remember that new people to the Group probably have not worked in the kind of environment we want to have at this place. We want to learn from them but we also want them working within our culture pronto and, as our culture is unusual, that means training, sharing, debating.
It was a normal January day as the post was being delivered around the office when we noticed something a bit different about one letter! Engraved on the back of a smart envelope were the letters 10 DOWNING ST.
Addressed to Miles Linney was a very kind invitation to attend a reception at ‘No. 10’ for Ronald McDonald Housing Charities (RMHC) hosted by Samantha Cameron. Linney Group has supported RMHC for a number of years and Miles was asked to represent the company as a ‘thank you’ for that support.
RMHC said: “It was a wonderful opportunity to gather key supporters who will contribute to the Charity’s long-term mission of ensuring we have sufficient funds and expertise to provide free accommodation at specialist children’s hospitals.”
Along with McDonald’s staff and supporters, some families got the chance to talk to Mrs Cameron about their experience of staying in RMHC houses and how the Charity has helped them. Towards the end, Mrs Cameron gave a short speech that drew parallels with the anguish and worry that she had with the illness and sadly, eventual loss of her son, Ivan.
Miles explained to 1851: “It was a very moving and special event and as ever makes you feel both very fortunate and very sad at the same time – it’s great that we get the chance as a company to do our bit to help RMHC support these families when they really need it.”
5-star rating for Sandra
An inspector from the Environmental Health Department at Mansfield District Council recently visited us to inspect the kitchen in W&J Centre, as it had been ‘flagged up’ that we provided lunches for visitors.
Ann Scothorne told 1851: “Admittedly we went into panic mode! But after researching the Food Standards Agency website we realised that virtually everything we were doing conformed to their regulations.
“The inspector was really impressed with our facilities. Sandra Hossack, who has been providing working lunches for us for eighteen years, was overjoyed to be told we would be awarded the full 5-star rating.”
RMHC gala dinner
In March, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) held their annual gala dinner. This year’s event was at the Battersea Evolution, London and over 700 guests from McDonald’s and their suppliers attended with host Natasha Kaplinsky and entertainment from the cast of The Beatles ‘Let It Be’ London West End musical.
As well as it being a fantastic evening, Linney Group were awarded the RMHC Supporter Of The Year Award, which Miles Linney was proud to collect from Jon Fergus, Chairman RMHC.
Jon Haward, Director of RMHC, commented: “As a family business, Linney Group appreciate the importance of families being together and this explains why there is such a strong link to Ronald McDonald House Charities and the joint ethos and family values that we share. I know if ever the Charity needs help or support, their hand will be the first in the air.”
Dale King at Adamsway
This March, Dale King started work experience at Linney Group. Dale is 19 and has Cerebral Palsy – he is accompanied by Steve Kilpin, a tutor at the Oak Field School and Sports College, which Dale attends.
Dale finds speech difficult but has risen to the challenge of meeting and greeting visitors and assists in business support tasks with enthusiasm and humour.
Business support’s Wendy James told 1851: “Dale has exceeded his tutor’s and my expectations with some of his skills.
“This is a new experience for Linney Group and for me, to look for ways where we can make Dale’s work experience worthwhile to him but also continue to provide our usual excellent reception welcome and service.”
Dale added: “I enjoy working here because everyone is so friendly. I especially like working on the computer and helping with the credit card statements.”
All shook up for charity
In the spirit of Comic Relief, a small group of us from Linney Direct decided to do something ‘funny for money’. A throw-away comment was all it took for us to decide that we would do our own ‘Harlem Shake’ video and, before you knew it, people had volunteered to embarrass themselves for charity.
After time spent deliberating what costumes we should all wear, the date was set for the ‘shoot’ and everyone started to get excited. Utilising expertise from Linney Design, the video was shot and edited in-house and very soon we had created our very own Harlem Shake, complete with credits listing those involved.
If you haven’t seen it already, it can be found on YouTube and is worth a watch. See if you can spot any familiar faces and enjoy a good laugh at our expense. Just go to: www.youtube.co.uk and search for “Linney Direct Harlem Shake”.
The video got some good publicity via Facebook and Twitter and some generous colleagues, friends and family members donated to Comic Relief, the latest total is £182, which is fantastic. Thank you to everyone for their sponsorship and thanks in anticipation of anyone who sponsors us as a result of reading this article. After all, that’s why we did it and it’s all for a great cause!